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  • Writer's pictureLucas Gu

A Veteran

Location: Grace Baptist Church Shelter

In May 2022, I talked with old HEVI members at Grace Baptist Church, and I learned some snippets of their life story.

Just like Alex, Alejandro also served in the military for many years. When he came back home, the memories of the battlefields and the sounds of explosions stayed with him. He had to deal with PTSD, which made his thoughts tough to handle and triggered strong emotions.

The busy city streets, the city life, and being around a lot of people all brought back his traumatic memories. No matter how hard he tried to fit into society again, he felt very alone and like he didn't belong anywhere.

"I felt lost," he said to me. "I didn't know where to go."

Keeping a job became really difficult for Alejandro. His emotions were all over the place, and it was almost impossible for him to keep a job. One after another, job opportunities slipped away.

Without any support from friends or family, Alejandro's life kept getting harder. He had to deal with his own struggles inside while also facing the challenges of being homeless. The streets became his new battleground, where he had to fight to find food, a place to sleep, and safety.

But he stayed strong. "I've been through worse," he told me. "I won't give up now, just like I never gave up before."

At Grace Baptist Shelter, Alejandro is reaching out to outreach programs and support services, and he's hopeful about rebuilding his life, one step at a time.

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